tv [untitled] February 19, 2014 1:00pm-1:31pm PST
through h, how often is this review to determine the work load of all of these specific areas and to make sure that there is adjustment about staff dedicated to working on these areas? because just as you mention with the -- under 2f, [speaker not understood] legislation coordination, i don't see a whole lot coming before us in terms of [speaker not understood] legislation except for the legislation that we discussed last week, which we probably should have known about. so, how can that -- i mean, how often is this reviewed and evaluated to make sure that this is more real time than not? >> sure. so, i'll start, maybe mr. frye might want to jump in as well. on an annual basis we formally review these numbers, the fte allocations, for all of the major functions in the department during the budget process. and, so, i'll work with the
division chiefs and the division's management team on allocating resources accordingly to what the projected work load will be. but i believe mr. frye and staff monitor it much more frequently so that if staff aren't working on legislation coordination activities, they can be utilized in some other capacity. >> like landmarks? >> yes. tim frye, department staff. just to follow-up on that, the team leaders meet on a quarterly basis and go over the backlog and also whether or not we need to reallocate resources to, one, help deal with the backlog or there is not a backlog, can we have some folks work on designations or survey or other types of projects. >> could we be informed of that, too, just -- >> on a quarterly basis? sure, absolutely. >> thank you. commissioners, anything else? commissioner hyland. >> last meeting i had a question on the backlog and the
processing time. in just looking at -- i know you presented the same information last time, but now we had a little more time to digest it. in july of 2013, we had 378 cases of backlog. and at the end of last year we had 495. in the letter from our commission to the planning department, item 3, it just says that we talked about that. could we have a real metric that we could track and follow? and to the point that you're proposing some additional head counts -- where did that go? yeah, the 4.62 for next fiscal year and 6 for the following year to address the backlog. >> um-hm. >> we also talked about a plan b. if that backlog doesn't get reduced, what that plan b would be? so, is there a way to revise
this number 3 to include those two items? >> sure. >> to be more specific? >> okay. we do track the backlog count. every quarter we do track that. so, i can provide information, you know, maybe more frequently through mr. frye, maybe, with the pack log. is that any point in time? >> if i could, commissioner, you're suggesting that it simply suggest -- that the letter say that we evaluate it kind of periodically through the year to make sure -- >> so next year we're at 600. >> with the goal of reducing the backlog, of course. that's all our goal. >> exactly. >> [speaker not understood] make sense. >> is it that each fte will account for tentative backlog or something, is there a way to attach that? we're adding 6 or whatever the number is we're adding. >> it's a little challenging to do that because some projects are very big and some are
small. >> of course. >> yeah, i don't know -- most of the reason for the backlog is simply the vast increase in the numbers of applications. so, and there's usually a backlog in hiring people to catch up, you know. it takes six months to hire people. having said that, i think your point is well taken that the letter can simply suggest that, that we need to reevaluate it midstream or -- [multiple voices] >> the increase will be 2% next year and 1% thereafter. if we see a 10% increase, there should be some mid course correction. >> right. >> how do we -- >> what we'd have to do is what we did this fiscal year -- i'm getting the years mixed up -- we had to go to the board midstream. the board not only approve the expenditure and budget, they approve the number of positions. so, for us to add positions even if we had the money, we'd have to go to the board for approval to add a position. >> last time we had 8 head
counts that were unfunded. >> right. are we proposing that? we're not proposing that this year? >> correct. >> the unfunded positions? >> where part of that one time appropriation we're seeking $3 million is to fund those positionseses 2-1/2 years. >> is there a way to have other language in case your predictionses are underestimated? >> i think the commissioner is asking if we should do that again this year. [speaker not understood] unfunded position. i.e. mean, you're certainly welcome to put that in the letter. whether the budget office could do that for us again this year is somewhat questionable. they were really reluctant. we tried it two years ago, they said no. we tried it last year, they finally said yes. but whether they would be willing to do it again, i don't know. there is a real reluctance to add positions to the city staff. >> well, we're looking at a $5 million surplus, and 3 million -- >> i understand.
>> i would welcome putting something to that effect in your letter if you would like to do so, that would be fine. >> commissioner johnck. >> along those same lines, we can decide if we want to discuss more about the letter now or -- i mean today, but i'll just bring up my point about the letter. and i think we could be saying something -- i agree with commissioner hyland, you know, about the backlog. but i was looking at item number 2 saying that we are eager to work more closely with the planning commission and, you know, department projects such as community planning initiatives. well, we've been talking about legislation. we kind of work more closely on legislation that it not just involves historic components. planning initiatives and legislation that affect the historic resources he. i mean, that's the proper term.
not just components, i think, yeah. so, and then i think we should add something about we asked and agreed to a position that addresses he landmark -- >> we'd have to add that one item. >> number 4. those are my suggestions for amendments to number 2. >> thank you, commissioner. commissioners, anything else? okay, so, we'll take public comment. any member of the public wish to comment on the budget or the letter? seeing none, close it and we'll bring it back to the commission. i think we have our comments and i'll work with jonas and get that done later on today so it can be presented tomorrow to the commission, to the planning commission. >> and we don't generally take a vote on comment matters, but just so we can see consensus that -- >> vote on the budget. >> on the budget because of the letter? >> we're approving the budget. >> so, you're making a recommendation, right. >> yeah.
>> in that case i've got four item that i heard from each -- or from the commission basically dedicating an fte to the hpc work program establishing a metric to follow the backlog and check in mid year to accommodate for actual permit case applications. and then to alter item 2 to include legislation that affects historic resources. was there anything i missed? >> i think that's right. >> and on 3 what i was going to say is track the backlog and seek additional head count if backlog doesn't produce. [multiple voices] >> that was the intent. >> okay, if you can take the role. >> in that case, commissioners, ~ on consensus for -- to amending the comment letter as
read into the record, commissioner junk, excuse me commissioner hyland. >> yes. >> commissioner johnck. >> yes. [speaker not understood]. and commission president hasz? >> yes. >> so moved, commissioner. that consensus, that voice vote for consensus was unanimous. thank you. >> great. >> commissioners, that will place you on item 7, update on the permit and project tracking system (ppts). informational presentation. ~ >> good afternoon, commissioners, president hasz. i know some of you, but not all, so, i'll introduce myself. i'm kelly an did hererctiontion, senior planner with the department about 15 years now, but for the past year and a half i have been the business lead on the project
permit tracking system on which i will give you a status update and a bit of a sneak preview into what the system will do ~. first i'd like to introduce a couple people. one is isabelle [speaker not understood] here in the audience. she is the project manager on the project and we both report to tom de santos, the ceo for the department. so, a bit of background and i will be going through the presentation that you have before you. this is a joint project with the building department and the two consultant partners that we work with are exela automation which is a government software and a local implementation consulting firm called 21 tech. a bit of history. as with many significant city projects, this takes a few years to get dub. ~ done. we started in '05 and '06. [speaker not understood]. and resulting from those consultant studies were action
plans for both departments. the dbi business process for planning and action plan. there were 30 item in the action plan. we implemented many of them during that time frame, but one is the permit project tauing system that is still underway ~. we've been working specifically on design and implementation for the past two years. one of the main goals of this project is to provide an all in one solution, a tracking system that combines the many legacy system that we currently use in planning along with the building department's current permit tracking system, combining all of those into one. so, you see some symbols here. some of you will be familiar with them. permit tracking is, again, the current tracking system used by dbi. they do have a system of course for all their permits. it is available to the public. the planning department, however, has several legacy databases that are really only available to the staff, not
available to the public. [speaker not understood] miscellaneous database since referrals from dph. we have an intake program that is our main planning application database. time accounting is our time keeping system. we have a gis arc map system. and partial information is a property database system. so, all of those would be combined into one this new excel a project permit tracking system. two main user groups for the system, the public and staff. just some terminology here. again, the back office system that would be available to staff is an excel a automation software. and they have a public portal essentially at -- excuse me, citizen access system, that will be the public portable, user friendly version of the system. and then we are also implementing a feature of excel a called excel a gis. we are able to transfer as many
layers from our arc system as we want for the public to see. so, again, exciting features, we'll have over a hundred layers, gis layers available to the public through the new system. we have designed a single web page for the new system. again, that would serve the general public primarily. it will look something like this. and if a member of the public knows exactly which permit or planning application they want to see, they would go straight to the public web page which will look something like this. just giving you some screen shots here. this is what the citizen access page would look like. and, again, there's embedded links in all of these pages taking you to wherever you need to go based on what you're trying to do, including submitting an application, scheduling a meeting or just searching for information.
one important tool that will remain in use which was mentioned earlier today already is our property information map. again, many of you have seen this. it's on our home page on the planning department's home page currently. it does allow anyone, staff or the public to enter an address or block and lot and pull up a bunch of different information about a property. this will remain the best source of information for journal information about a property. again, if you know a specific permit or application, you can go straight into the tracking system. but for general information, everybody will still be directed to what we call our [speaker not understood] information map. and then just to note, like you see the blue -- sorry, the black case numbers here, those would be embedded links. so, again, you get the property information map, you get the case no., it drops you into the tracking system. that's how it works today for
the building permit tracking system. just a note about access. the excel a system will be available obviously to the public. you will need to log in to conduct a transaction, meaning filing an application or paying a fee. but you will not need to log in to do general searches or get information. so, again, really broad access to the public for almost everything they would need to be doing, but obviously for filing certain things or any kind of transaction, we want to log in -- need an account that we can then track and do need to log in. one example of a feature we're excited about is the ability to search the tracking system for a wide range of information. again, this search would cover both planning applications and permits all in one. and one sample of this, which is not something you can do today as a member of the public, we get a lot of these requests.
our it group gets a lot of requests. i want to see what kind of conditional use was filed last year. and we have to run that query and provide them with that information. now the public will be able to do that and this is an example of a screen shot for those kind of search results you would be able to enter these search criteria, these search parameters and pull up this kind of information and use the system. again, with links to the case numbers for more information as desired. one other feature we're excited about is the ability of the public to submit applications online. again, this is something the building department does currently for certain electrical and plumbing permits. members of the public can apply and get those kinds of permits issued today electronically. but for planning this will be a new feature. we are not going to accept all types of planning applications online. we started with a certain group, but it does include historic preservation applications including permit to alter and c of a. preservation staff is being very supportive of this project and want to take in as much --
as many applications as possible online. we will review them for any project that requires a hearing, we would obviously need hard copies at some point, but a lot of this information can be collected from the public electronically at least initially and it certainly allows the public to file things at will. they don't have to wait to schedule a meeting, that kind of thing. so, it will be a huge convenience for the public. we do have a couple of meetings currently that require faxing in a meeting request form, that kind of thing, project review meetings and our application again, intake meetings. so, though will also be able to be scheduled online by the public through the system. in addition there are certain types of applications that lend themselves to a full electronic review process. our ppa applications, preliminary project assessment, can be submitted online with a new system. it is conceivable, we're hopeful those applications which would come with plans, could be reviewed by staff electronically and a letter issued all electronically.
so, we're really trying to reduce paper and kind of streamline review processes with the system. we'll start with applications that lend themselves to it. letters of [speaker not understood] from the za, those kind of things can be processed electronically. a big goal feature of the system is going to be transparency for the public. you'll be able to see a lot more information about those permits and planning applications. the new system will track project status at a very detailed level. currently, if you submit a planning application and you don't get to see much about it in any kind of tracking system. and if you've got a permit that's been routed to planning, you know it's been routed to planning, but you don't really know although interim steps between when we get it and when we're finished with it. so, we designed this system with a lot of detailed steps in our work flow so the public will see each one of those as the project moves through the system.
>> while you're on that and talk about that, will they see all the ones left to go? you'll see the whole trail or -- [multiple voices] >> they don't get routed somewhere else? >> [speaker not understood]. >> right. [laughter] >> not really. i'm sorry. >> the system does have something called target date which we're going to use very carefully. you will see a certain basic work flow, but it is very basic. and i'll show you a screen shot in just a minute, but, you know, application file, hearing noticing, completion processing, that kind of thing, it especially comes up for environmental review when'ly can'ttion want to see which study they need to do. we obviously attempt to inform applicants at the beginning of any process what they should expect, but we do not know ourselves until we start that review process. so, it's not like we're going to plug certain steps into the
system in advance necessarily. something we can certainly think about, but i mean like for instance, dbi, karl, as you know, and some of you who submit building permits, they have that white tracking sheet so you see at the beginning which station it has to go to, handwritten out on that building permit. the system will reflect that to a certain extent. but you can't really get into the system as a member of the public and see the advance, you know, situation or timing for that matter. just because we consider it kind the ball up in the air until we get there. but here's an example here. here's an example of the types of kind of detailed steps that will be visible to the public. it will also let us have a true record of performance so we are absolutely motivated to track the backlog more carefully and more specifically. we will be able to break the backlog into pieces such as when did it come into the department, when did it go to the manager, when did it go from the manager to the planner, when did the planner
start work, all of those steps which really in combination makeup the backlog, we can break i doctionv into pieces and see where the issues are. ~ breakdown >> commissioner? >> is the department looking at electronic review of permits as well, then, like building permits? this doesn't include that, right? i mean we're still stamp -- architects are still stamp -- [multiple voices] >> it's really a question for the building department, president hu we have talked about it. again, they do -- they do issue some permits electronically today. they hope to accept some building permit applications electronically, but we are not -- we have not designed this system to do full, what's called edr, electronic document review, some allow for it. some jurisdictions use excel a for electronic review. it's a piece we hope to grow into, but it's up to dbi to make that call and configure the system to allow it to happen. for planning, that's why we can take control over our planning applications and do certain
ones electronically and we will do that. >> so, a member of the public, though, still wouldn't through this online system see actually plans that had been submitted? >> they could. well, not for building permit. >> not for building permit. let's say you're doing a building and you do a set of hard copy drawings, you couldn't -- you could know where the permit was and what the description -- written description of the permit, right? >> that's right. >> but not the actual -- >> not the actual plan. >> plan. >> at least not for this initial goal phase 1 of the project. this is an incredibly complex robust system and what's good about it is we're going to go live with certain pieces, but there's room to grow completely. and edr is one of those big pieces. >> thank you. >> the other thing to mention as far as project status and transparency is all communications or documents associated with it, a planning application or a permit really, would be associated or attached to that record in the system. again, so, you'll get
information, you'll get work flow, and you'll also be able to see all the attached documents including initial application file, the plans that came with it, anything we issue publicly notice to the public it will all be part of the record available to the public. something significantly different from today. [laughter] >> [speaker not understood]. a bit of level of detail. just a small screen shot of a processing status where i plugged in some information. you'll see which step are complete indicated by the green checks. again, you see a little bit of the work flow here starting with intake to assignment and noticing and analysis. you see who did what, at what point in time. any comments we enter into the system are available to the public as well. >> would they be available here? >> anywhere via the internet. >> i'm saying would they be on this particular page.
if you had commented on something, that would be right here. >> um-hm. >> you wouldn't have to click and go to another page? [speaker not understood]. >> i didn't -- i'm not sure about that. >> okay. >> sometimes it takes another click to follow the trail, you know, to the comment. >> and on this, for instance, would your name be clickable so that i could get your e-mail address? >> my e-mail would pull up, yeah, there's a lot of that built in. >> excellent. that's great. >> i won't comment on the planner's reaction to that. [laughter] >> reports are another big aspect of the system. by reports i mean both performance reports, meaning backlog type data, land use data. we have designed the system to capture a ton of information about property and projects that we do not collect very well today. so, we, you know, thought ahead a little bit about that and
we'll be doing a lot more data entry with the system, but we'll then be able to produce reports about it. also all of our written documents. so, we can ask the system to pre-populate a notice with the information that's already in the system and spit it out. and some notices will be 90% to 100% automated through the system. somewhere we have to customize depending on the project or the document, we'll pull up what we can from the system and edit and complete the document. it offers a lot of kind of streamlining of process and -- through the reports features. as i mentioned, this is a web-based system. so, we struggle today to access our information from anywhere outside our offices and this will be available to staff and the public basically anywhere you have an internet connection.
so, 24/7 access. there is a mobile office system that dbi will use for inspectors. just a note again on the dbi pieces, inspectors will be able to update the system in real time in the field and results can be available to the public. we will have mobile devices for our enforcement planners. ~ who will be able to use the system in a similar way. just a couple more here. there obviously have been extensive public outreach about the system. the building department updates their commission regularly about the projects. we last presented to this commission and the planning commission a couple years ago when we started the design of the system, but we since used some regular status updates through director's reports, et cetera. we have created a couple different groups of the public to help give us feedback on the system. one is a citizens advisory group which president karl hasz is a member of as well as
rodney fong from the planning commission. we have 8 or 10 other member of the public and city family. we use that group for some hands on testing and feedback of the system. and then we've done presentations to basically all interested parties, stakeholder presentation and that's on an ongoing basis. we will, as we start to roll the system out and do training, we will obviously offer training both for the public and yourselves as commissioners. >> can i get on thateries? ~ that list? >> yes, absolutely. so, just a quick update on the timeline. again to date, we are still -- we're finishing the design of the system and starting to test it. we've been testing for several months now. this spring we will initiate training and additional public outreach and then the current schedule which we will know a lot more about in the next few weeks shows a system wide date sometime this summer. the one big piece that remains an unknown is the data conversion. work especially for the building department.
i thought designing the system was challenging before i knew more about the data conversion piece. anything in our current system has to be transferred into the new system. obviously there are big differences this. that's a big project in and of itself. the data conversion is well underway but dbi has more volume than we do, so they need a few months to work on that. we will know more as we do the first run of conversion in the next two to four weeks. we'll know more what to expect that the system will be ready, hopefully this summer sometime. >> director ram. >> thank you, kelly, thank you. [speaker not understood]. first i want to thank kelley for her work. she announced to staff she'll be leaving in a few months to go on to better pastures. i want to thank her for all her work the last couple years. one important thing to mention here. one is this is actually -- this is huge.
i mean, this is something that frankly san francisco has been behind on in terms of technology and this is something that i've been working on since i got here and had been started before i got here which was six years ago. but the good news is we're learning from other cities' mistakes and sort of catching up in the process. one of the really important things to mention here is that this is being led by dbi and a a partnership between planning. the system is being designed so other modules will be able to be added over time. so, the other departments involved in the permitting process of some type will be able to add their module, add their piece to the system over time as well. so the system can grow with the city as well and eventually all departments involved in the permitting process will be able to add their piece to the system. that's the good news. i can't emphasize enough the importance of one of the last slides kelley had on the reporting. the data we have now because of the way it's entered because of the different software system
is staff spends a huge amount of time cleaning up the data every quarter that we get from dbi and it actually -- it is a lot of hand work we currently have to do just to report out, for example, on the number of units that were built that quarter. the number of two bedrooms, the number of three bedrooms, the number of c of as, whatever it is, this system will greatly streamline the process and produce way more data than we have today. i'm excited about that aspect alone because there is an inordinate amount of time we have to spend scrubbing the data. it is becoming more important to our work and more of interest to the public and to people in this building. so, i'm very excited about that aspect of it as well. >> commissioners? any comments? kelley, we'll miss you. thank you very much for putting it together. commissioner pearlman. >> i just wanted to say having worked in san francisco for close to 25 years